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  • Counter :
  • 542
  • Date :
  • 8/29/2004

Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

(August 28, 1749–March 22, 1832)

was a German writer, scientist, and philosopher. As a writer, Goethe was one of the paramount figures of German literature and European Romanticism during and around the 18th and 19th century. Goethe was the author of Faust (ISBN 0385031149) and Theory of Colors (ISBN 0262570211) and inspired Darwin with his independent discovery of the human premaxilla jaw bones.

Goethe was born in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. His father was a man of means and position, and he personally supervised the early education of his son. The young Goethe studied at the universities of Leipzig and Strasbourg, and in 1772 entered upon the practice of law at Wetzlar. At the invitation of Karl August, Duke of Saxe-Weimar, he went in 1775 to live in Weimar, where he held a succession of political offices, becoming the Duke's chief adviser. From 1786 to 1788 he traveled in Italy, and directed the ducal theater at Weimar. He took part in the wars against France, and in the following began a friendship with Friedrich Schiller, which lasted till the latter's death in 1805. In 1806 he married Christiane Vulpius. From about 1794 he devoted himself chiefly to literature, and after a life of extraordinary productiveness died in Weimar.

The most important of Goethe's works produced before he went to Weimar were his tragedy Götz von Berlichingen (1773), which was the first work to bring him fame, and The Sorrows of Young Werther, a novel which gained enormous popularity during the so-called Sturm und Drang period. During the years at Weimar before he met Schiller he began Wilhelm Meister, wrote the dramas Iphigenie, Egmont, and Torquato Tasso, and his Reineke Fuchs. To the period of his friendship with Schiller belong the continuation of Wilhelm Meister, the beautiful idyl of Hermann and Dorothea, and the Roman Elegies. In the last period, between Schiller's death, in 1805, and his own, appeared Faust, Elective Affinities, his autobiographical Dichtung und Wahrheit (Poetry and Truth), his Italian Journey, much scientific work, and a series of treatises on German art.

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